He had stated that he was not going to resign. Prime Minister Enrico Letta had admitted that he had no legal means to dismiss him. Yet Mr Antonio Mastrapasqua, the all-powerful President of National Social Security Institute, is gone. He resigned.
He was under investigation, and he was discovered occupying one of the most delicate positions of Italy as a part-time job. But per se, this is not enough in a country where commander Schettino’s nautical license has yet to be revoked.
It will take time to understand what happened, and we could never know. Perhaps Mr Letta, threatened by Mr Renzi, tried to show his grip on power. Perhaps the evidence collected by the investigators was too damning. Or perhaps a typical Italian institution, the “scivolo” (literally “slide”), was put to use. In practice, Mr Mastrapasqua could have been quietly offered an equally good job, or some other juicy reward.